Growth in Pet Food Industry

The U.S. population is steadily increasing while the average number of children per household is decreasing. This is contributing to an increase in the number of pet owners from 66.5 million in 2011 to 79.7 million in 2015-2016.128% growth in the global pet food market since 2011

An increase in pet owners means an increase in the amount of pet food purchase decisions. Global pet food is worth $74.8 billion now versus $58.6 million in 2011.2 The industry has seen 20.5 percent growth in new dog food launches over the past five years.2 While pet food in all pet markets continues to increase, dog food leads the market.

Why Is It Growing?

Man’s Best Friend

So why is pet food seeing an increase in growth? Undoubtedly, the main reason is due to the increase in the number of pet owners.

More pets are being treated as members of the family. As a family-owned company, this is a movement we can get behind. The invention of terms like “pet parents” and “fur baby” are reflective of this trend. The term “fur baby” was first defined in 2006,3 though it has catalyzed younger generations to purchase pets as precursors for children. Many pets are now seen as children rather than companions, especially among millennial-aged consumers.

Reflective of Human Trends

Human trends are transferring to pets, and food ingredient companies are seeing the emergence of a new market segment. Pet food product introductions are on the rise, with the top five claims on new dog food introductions being health-related.

While preferred health claims are overall on the rise, the top health claim that pet owners prefer is “no additives/preservatives.2” The other four notable health claims for dog owners are allergy, digestive/gut health, natural, and high source of protein, respectively. All health claims coincide with the human macro trend of a clean label. This means that if the pet owner is interested in clean label and/or organic products for their own consumption, then those trends will likely be reflected in the pet food purchase decision as well.

puppies eating dog kibbleProduct Introductions

Pet food is already a mature market in North America; however, there is still room for growth as trends continue towards a clean label over synthetic options. New product launches in both cat and dog foods are seeing trends in clean label options like organic and “no additives/preservatives.” In the U.S., nearly 53 percent of product launches made “natural” and/or “no additives/preservatives” claims.

Premium food options are continuing to increase in popularity in the U.S. The increase in the use of allergy claims in pet food launches also increased from 24 percent in 2015 to 31 percent in 2016.2

Clean Label for Pets

The pet food market continues to follow the human macro trend for clean label and away from synthetic ingredients.
Videka Alliance Videka preserves the quality and taste of pet foods by creating customized natural protection systems.

Videka combines its expertise from the best of two leading global companies: a strong history of innovation in palatability and specialty pet food ingredients with Diana Pet Food and oxidation management expertise in human food with Kalsec.®


1. Pets by the Numbers. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2. Innova Market Insights, 2017
3. Reilander, H. (2006, September 21). Retrieved from
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